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I am grateful:

  1. For my sweetie, who makes it all worthwhile
  2. For my therapists, who helped me make sense of it
  3. For my friends, who love me for all my flaws
  4. For my job, which has turned into a career
  5. For my secret project – more to be revealed in the future
  6. For my dog, because it is incredibly hard to stay in a bad mood when you have a dog in your life
  7. For my cats, because they are incredibly affectionate
  8. For my students, because they teach me
  9. For my teachers, physical virtual and written.
  10. For God/dess and His/Her care of me throughout my life
  11. For the lessons They have decided I need to learn
  12. For learning to hear the whistle of the Cosmic 2×4 and responding sooner rather than later
  13. That I live close enough to a city that I can enjoy its wealth, without paying the price for it
  14. For being able to return to Muay Thai and other physical activity
  15. that my energy has returned

I don’t spend a lot of time on gratitude, I think I take it (too much) for granted.

The biggest trigger – perhaps the only one – is (ironically) feeling poor. If I start to get worried about my financial status, feeling like there isn’t enough to do what I want to do – I begin to get slipshod with the finances. I buy things from my wish list. I decide to buy something new.

It is as close as I get to retail therapy – and it’s all online. Which is good, because sometimes (like now) I can delay the purchase, or wait it out (sort of like quitting smoking, actually).

Live in a new place with the seasons (natural or social)

Acquire a high level of education at an outstanding institution

Pay other people to take care of the irritations of daily life

Surround themselves with beauty (objects & people)

Create an environment/culture of health (cook, personal care such as massages, long time doctor)

In another lifetime, I would be/ could be these things instead of what I am:

Full time writer.

Full time teacher of the sacred.

Farmer.

Dog breeder.

Courtesan.

Honesty. This doesn’t mean over-sharing or telling all. It is as much about knowing oneself as it is about how you deal with others.

Respect. Treat others as you would be treated.

Responsibility. Own your own shit, and fix the mistakes you make, to the best of your ability.

Me with everything I need  . . . looks a lot like me now. I have a wonderful partner; my medical care is covered; my house is not only functional, but beautiful; I have enough to buy what I want, even if its frivolous.  If this continues, I will continue to have all I need.

  1. Dance (this is theoretical) $10
  2. Sing $0
  3. Movies $3.50-$21/mo
  4. Read $0
  5. Needlepoint $0
  6. Make books $3
  7. Sewing $0
  8. Cooking – cost of ingredients
  9. Teaching $0
  10. Museum $15
  11. Pike Place $0
  12. Travel – expensive, and variable
  13. Dinner with friends – if out, $50, if in — cost of ingredients
  14. Concerts — $50 or more
  15. Make love $0
  1. Read (yay for the library)
  2. Watch movies (Netflix, our DVD library, one local theater has older movies for $3.50 all day, another has 1st run movies for $6 before noon)
  3. Needlepoint (I have enough projects to complete that will take me until I die)
  4. Make books (I have all of the supplies, just need to buy glue occasionally)
  5. Sewing (although I just replaced my machine, the old one lasted for 20 years, about $5 a year)
  6. Photography (although this is mostly just while traveling)
  7. Cooking
  8. Teaching
  9. Museum walks
  10. Pike Place Market

Oh dear . . . that’s all.

I am, generally-speaking, a positive person. My current financial difficulties notwithstanding, I am mostly confident that I am making good decisions about my life, living with honesty, compassion, and a high level of personal responsibility.

I am what you see: I don’t spend a lot of time trying to hide or change my personality to conform to some external reality. Yes, I am different at work, but the core personality is the same, I just dial down some aspects (such as: requiring a high level of honesty from those around me) and dial up others (such as: discretion and glibness).

I am compassionate. Given the opportunity to give you a second chance, to work with you to overcome an obstacle, I will do so. To get me to say ‘enough’ you’ve really got to exhaust my resources.

I am intelligent. This one was a long time in realizing. It seems that if you come from a highly intelligent family, and tend to surround yourself with intelligent people, your ‘bar’ is very high. It took me a long time to realize my ability, and longer still to grow accustomed to it and make use of it.

I am organized. Apparently, what I accomplish in a usual day takes other people several days. I believe it’s a matter of efficiency and focus.

The next phases of the book suggest going to observe an Alcoholics Anonymous open meeting to see how support groups work, and then to seek out a Debtor’s Anonymous support group It is worth checking their question list to see how you fit.

I answered ‘yes’ to 2 out of 15 questions:

1. Are your debts making your home life unhappy?   sometimes

10. Does the pressure of your debts cause you to have difficulty sleeping? sometimes

So, that is a positive aspect. I really like something written on that page:

We have all arrived at this crossroad. One road, a soft road, lures you on to further despair, illness, ruin, and in some cases, mental institutions, prison, or suicide. The other road, a more challenging road, leads to self-respect, solvency, healing, and personal fulfillment. We urge you to take the first difficult step onto the more solid road now.

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